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ADR 635 Bergmeister Armbruster Sport Cabriolet
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Country of origin:Austria
Produced from:1931 - 1934
Numbers built:50 (All Bergmeisters)
Designed by:Armbruster
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:December 08, 2011
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Click here to download printer friendly versionFerdinand Porsche's influence was still felt at Austro-Daimler for many years after the talented engineer had left the company after a conflict over the strategy in 1923. The successful six cylinder 'AD' and subsequent 'ADM' models built for most of the 1920s were still based on his designs. It took until 1927 before the first 'post-Porsche' Austro-Daimler was introduced.

Dubbed the ADR, the 'new' Austro-Daimler was designed by by Porsche's former right-hand man Paul Rabe. The 'R' in the type name is short for 'Rohrrahmen', which is German tubular frame. This is a reference to the thoroughly modern tubular chassis that featured fully independent rear suspension through swing axles. This allowed the car to sit much lower than conventional sports cars of the day, which all still used solid axles.

The ADR's all aluminium straight six was a direct development of the Porsche designed 'AD' engine. It sported a single overhead camshaft that was driven from the crankshaft at the rear of the engine by a vertical shaft with bevel gears. Displacing just under three litres, the lightweight engine produced around 70 hp, which was increased to 100 hp for the 'Sport' model added to the line-up in 1929. Both variants featured a four-speed gearbox.

A few years after the ADR was introduced two new models were introduced. The first was the ADR 8 'Alpine', which was powered by a new eight cylinder engine. In 1931 it was joined by the ADR 635 'Bergmeister', which used a 3.6 litre variant of Porsche's 'six'. It received the 'Bergmeister' moniker, German for 'Champion of the mountain', in celebration of Hans Stuck's 43 victories in hill climbs between 1928 and 1932 with an ADM.

Like all luxury cars of the day, the Austro-Daimler was built in Wiener-Neustadt as a rolling chassis only for specialist coach-builders to cloth. Many were sent to local shops like Armbruster. The six-cylinder chassis came with two wheelbases (3,200 mm and 3,500 mm) to suit a variety of styles including a four-door limousine and two-door cabriolet. The top-of-the-range ADR 8 was built with a 3,725 mm wheelbase only.

Despite its exquisite range, Austro-Daimler did not proof immune to the trying economic situation of the day. Due to diminishing sales, the Austrian manufacturer was forced to cease road car production in 1934. The company merged with Steyr and carried on building military vehicles for several more years.

By 1934, around 2600 ADRs were constructed in total. Of these just 50 each were the highly exclusive 'Alpine' and 'Bergmeister' models. Unfortunately only very few have survived and today Austro-Daimler is mostly forgotten. That does no justice to the fantastic and often very successful machines that were produced for nearly three decades in the Austrian capital.

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